Beet and Orange Juice, Raw Vegan Reflections

Half of 2014 is already gone! I can’t help but feel that I should be reflective on what has transpired during the first 6 months of this year as it pertains to my new mostly raw vegan lifestyle. In summary…IT ROCKS!!!! It’s amazing, it’s fun, it’s filling and fulfilling, it’s energizing, it’s everything I dreamed it would be and so much more. Let me make it perfectly clear that I have not been 100% raw vegan the entire time, if I had to give it a number I would say 90% on average with very very very many 100% days. I went with ‘the flow’ as they say and I did not beat myself up for indulging in unhealthy eats. What I found instead was that after eating ‘clean’ my body became hyper sensitive to processed/unhealthy food that I naturally didn’t want any of it. I often felt sick, had an upset stomach and severe acid reflux after eating such food. I still really struggle with social gatherings. There are often absolutely no options to eat a raw, fresh fruit and/or vegetable meal in restaurants and even in people’s homes which I think is really sad. I have to say that eating this way has brought me so much JOY and I have experienced enormous benefits from eating this way. I will try and outline some of them below.

groceries

  • Grocery shopping is effortless and fun. I don’t need to look at labels. I simply purchase organic, whole, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. That’s it! A few other things I also buy are dates, ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds and dehydrated unsweetened coconut. A plant-based diet made up of whole foods (fruits and vegetables) is the way to go!
  • Meal prep is so fast and there are no stinky lingering oil/cooked food smells in the house. Every meal/dish is always so colorful. Radiant is the word actually!
  • Fruits and Vegetables are delicious in their most natural state. There is nothing like a ripe fresh mango, crunchy & salty celery, a sweet & juicy orange or smooth & creamy avocado. Nature/God is PERFECTION.
  • I have boundless energy all the time and I have released (lost) 20 pounds 🙂 which is FANTASTIC. I truly feel like my body is healing itself from the inside out with fruits and vegetables. I have indulged in the most delicious juices, smoothies and salads the past 6 months and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings. The weight loss was a nice bonus. My creative side has evolved and I feel so inspired when I’m in the kitchen now so much so that I made this new recipe this morning and I’m calling it BEETASTIC! Try it y’all. I know you will love it.

BEETASTIC JUICE

1 Beet and 2 Oranges. That’s it! 🙂 As always, use organic ingredients if possible.

beet and orange juice

 

~Juice, Try Something New & Enjoy!~

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Grapefruit, Cucumber, Apple and Orange Juice

I looooooove juicing grapefruit. I made these juices for company and they were a hit!

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 orange

cucumber orange grapefruit apple juice

The pink juices are my usual fave Grapefruit and Apple Juice combo

If any of you are on Instagram, it’s my new favorite addiction and I post recipes pretty instantaneously on it (like this recipe) along with other great raw food (juice, smoothie, fruit and salad) eats. Follow me @mapleavenuejuice and let’s inspire each other. I love it! Don’t know what took me so long to join.

Here is one of many pictures I posted on Instagram that was absolutely delicious. Don’t you want to eat it NOW?

fruit platter for breakfast

~Juice&Inspire~

 

 

 

 

Here’s a Juice, Smoothie and Salad Recipe you’ll love!

I can’t believe it’s been 2 months already of eating a mostly raw vegan diet. I’m not a big fan of labels because I don’t want to deter anyone from my main message which is that fruits and vegetables ROCK!!! The more fruits and veggies you add to your diet the healthier you will be and feel… guaranteed! I do appreciate labels though for how important they are in having discussions of any kind. In my quest to attain greater health this year, those words (raw and vegan) are the IT words. My diet has sloooooowly evolved in the past 9 years (since I read Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis) and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never gone cold turkey on anything. Cold turkey does not work for me. I am much further along than most people I know who for years have quit this, that or the other, announced it to the world and sworn by everything, only to be smothered in grease on a Friday night and decide that eating healthy is too hard. Nice and slow works, no need for torture 🙂 I know my why and that keeps me going. I’ve had a few cooked non-vegan meals (one or two a week on average) since this journey began but I’m not sweating them! I am focusing on how easy and delicious it is to have simple and fast raw vegan meals! Here are 3 new recipes I made in one day. I actually wasn’t trying to create new recipes, it just happened! and then of course I thought to myself… better run and get that camera so you can share this with everyone. Enjoy folks. Every recipe was deeeeeelicous 🙂

Juice Recipe #32: Orange Glow

I love 3 ingredient juice recipes, they’re so easy! This juice was sweet and had a great zing thanks to the ginger. Remember… go for organic ingredients if possible. This recipe is very reminiscent of this ABC and ginger recipe but it tastes and looks very different. I used my Breville Juice Fountain Plus instead of the Omega J8006 for this recipe because they were all hard ingredients that the Breville just juices faster.

  • 1 large golden beet (this was my first time using them and they are gorgeous)
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 inch of ginger

golden beets

organic juice recipe orange glow

Smoothie Recipe #9: Hubby’s Fruit Medley

I have a confession. This was my husband’s creation, not mine. It is THE joy of my life that eating this way (and sharing it with others) inspires anyone, and most importantly the people I love so deeply. Hubby has become quite the smoothie maker so when he came up with this winner I knew I had to share it. If you want to do it hubby’s style just throw everything in your Vitamix (blender) in whatever proportions you like, add ‘some’ water and voila! If you’re like me, you’ll use…

  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • 1 cup of pineapple, frozen
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of water

It doesn’t matter what fruits are fresh or frozen, I just indicated which ones I used that happened to be frozen. I particularly love using only frozen bananas for smoothies. It somehow tastes better to me.

hubby's fruit medley smoothie

Salad Recipe

This salad was filling and out of this world good!

  • 3 large handfuls of baby kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 3/4 cup of broccoli florets
  • 2 large handful of a variety of sprouts (garbanzo, alfalfa and bean sprouts)

Salad Dressing: 5 strawberries, 1 orange and 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.

Ok, so balsamic vinegar is obviously not raw but I loooooove the one I have and it is fantastic for making salad dressings. The recipe would actually be just fine with only strawberries and oranges so feel free to leave it out.

salad recipe

~Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, juice and enjoy!~

Visit to Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin Texas

I took a trip to Whole Foods. Ok, so I take a trip to WF all the time. In fact, I shop at my local Whole Foods approximately once a week to stock up on my delicious organic fruits and vegetables. I really have a great time while grocery shopping there. What I experienced last month though, at the Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin, Texas was pure bliss. I went to Austin with hubby to visit family and when the opportunity presented itself on a Saturday morning to spend an hour and a half there, I took it. I pranced out of the hotel room, programmed the GPS in the rental car and sped down those vast, open Texas highways. I have never felt more care free and excited about a solo trip. Besides hanging out with my awesome family it was the highlight of my trip so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I took these pics with my handy dandy iPhone too. Didn’t want to look to crazy with a big camera. I was two weeks into my new journey of trying to eat mostly (90% or so) raw vegan so I needed the extra inspiration.

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

Aren't they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge...

Aren’t they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge…

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn't have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn’t have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice :-)

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice 🙂

Sooooooo beautiful

Sooooooo beautiful

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

It was a few days before Valentine's day so LOVE was in the air.

It was a few days before Valentine’s day so LOVE was in the air.

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

I'll be back :-)

I’ll be back 🙂

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

Anyone else been to the flagship Whole Foods store? Has anyone had a fun fruit and veggie shopping experience out of town? Please do share… 

~Shop, Juice & Feel the LOVE~

I think I’m RAW, VEGAN and Juice Recipe #31

I’m not sure how in heavens name I have a blog and don’t own a laptop. It makes no sense to me, hence the lack of blog posts. I do intend to fix that sometime in the next few months and get a really nice laptop. Suggestions welcome. I have spent the last few months wisely though and chosen to make food my medicine especially since the latter part of 2013 came with lots of physical and emotional trauma. 

I have never planned any of my life’s major changes. I spend as much time as the next person setting goals but I almost always get side tracked. I probably intuitively ‘plan’ all of the changes that happen in my life by ‘day-dreaming’ about it, reading about it, talking about it, being truly grateful for where I am, excited about all of the changes that I am already experiencing and then WHAM! my life’s on a whole new path.

So my latest life change is that I’m my diet is now RAW and VEGAN. I have been reading and thinking about eating this way for a few years now. The urge to try this lifestyle became so strong that on the night of January 22nd I’d had enough and decided I just had to do it. My diet was already significantly healthier than the average American’s diet thanks to the changes I’ve been making in the past several years. I had (and still have) juices/smoothies for breakfast, fruits for snacks and delicious home made salads very often. I purchase organic fruits and veggies when available as they are my absolute favorite food. In spite of all this I felt like there was plenty of room to expand, not physically! 🙂 . I have since had a few cooked meals because my husband and I traveled out-of-state for 5 days. Boy oh boy! Traveling and trying to remain raw and vegan with only 14 days of experience at the time was haaaaaard. I’m back home now and its been much easier. I don’t want to ramble on and on about this so I will just outline some of the benefits I have experienced from eating this way for 3 weeks.

  • I feel lighter after meals
  • I have increased energy
  • Meal prep is FAST and EASY
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Better and less sleep necessary
  • Weight loss 

The hardest thing has been trying to eat enough. With this lifestyle, your food is digested much quicker so the best thing is to either snack more often or have larger meals if your stomach can handle it. Snacking more works better for me now. The cooked meals I had were at restaurants with family and I have only experienced TERRIBLE effects, not side effects… EFFECTS 😦

  • I felt sluggish/lethargic after eating
  • SEVERE acid reflux
  • Nausea
  • SEVERE Indigestion
  • Excessive gas

No matter how small or large the cooked meal was I experienced ALL of the above effects ALL the time. I am now wondering…was I experiencing some/all of the above effects before and just totally oblivious to them? How sad is that? Or…did my GI tract love raw food so much (after only a few weeks) that it’s trying to let me know that cooked food is not the way for me anymore? I honestly don’t know what the answer is but I do know I enjoy eating raw and vegan for now and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability.

Here’s today’s breakfast green juice recipe.

New Beginnings GREEN juice recipe

  • one large cucumber
  • one head of romaine lettuce
  • half a pineapple, peeled (do not core)
  • one orange, peeled

It’s light, refreshing and on the sweeter side. I prefer stronger green flavors in my green juices but I craved something slightly sweet this morning and this juice satisfied that craving perfectly!

02.14.14 green juice

~Do something new, juice and enjoy!~

Anyone make any new (small or big) changes to their lifestyle in the past few months? Please share. 

Here are some pics from my raw food adventures. I took all of the pictures in today’s post with my iPhone so excuse the not-so-awesome quality.

fruit salad

green juice recipe

green juice

Smoothie recipe #7 and #8: Milkshake anyone? Vegan of course!

So I was out having dinner the other day with my husband and I had an insane craving for a milkshake. The reason I call it insane is because I haven’t had a milkshake since I was maybe 10 years old! and plus… dairy and I don’t agree too well, and plus… milkshakes have zero nutrition in my opinion! I try to create delicious nutrient-rich recipes, so since I’ve had some extra time on my hands these past few days I decided to create milkshake-esque/smoothie recipes and they knocked the socks off my feet! They were very filling, quite delicious and great for the scorching hot weather we’ve been experiencing these past few days. Slurp away!

Chocolate-Banana Lovers Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 8-10 oz almond milk (homemade almond milk is super easy to make)
  • 1tbsp flaxeed meal
  • 2 drops of vanilla essence

I purposely made a huge smoothie because I was headed out the door to run errands and wanted to make sure my belly was very full so I wouldn’t succumb to temptation! It can be extremely challenging to try and find something healthy when you’re out and about so don’t allow that to happen and make this delish smoothie instead and take it to-go. It’s the perfect breakfast recipe! and it’s vegan 🙂

Ingredients for Chocolate-Banana Lovers Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients for Chocolate-Banana Lovers Smoothie Recipe

Chocolate_Banana Lovers Smoothie

Chocolate-Banana Lovers Smoothie

Ready To-Go!

Ready To-Go!

Strawberry Heaven Smoothie

  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 6 oz almond milk (use homemade almond milk if possible)
  • 1tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1tbsp hempseed meal
  • 2 dates
  • 2 drops of vanilla essence

*use organic ingredients if possible, especially the fruits

This strawberry recipe will satisfy any sweet tooth. It’s creamy, cool, sweet and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. You can check out this strawberry smoothie recipe that’s pretty similar to this one but has it’s own unique flavor.

Ingredients for Strawberry Heaven Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients for Strawberry Heaven Smoothie Recipe

Strawberry Heaven Smoothie Recipe

Strawberry Heaven Smoothie Recipe

~Enjoy!~

Smoothie Recipe #6: Mango Delight Smoothie/Dessert

I truly appreciate my fellow WordPress bloggers. The Mango Tango recipe from Fasting Food & Other Musings sounded so delicious but included quite a few ingredients I don’t consume so of course I adapted it and the result was a creamy Mango Delight that can either be a smoothie or dessert depending on how much water you add. I used…

  • 2 cups of frozen mango (Make sure they’re ripe. I’m not a fan of the prepackaged ones because the mangoes aren’t usually ripe. It’s way cheaper to buy fresh mangoes in bulk, chop them up and freeze them yourself, but it’s also quite a bit of work!)
  • 1/4 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 dates
  • 1/2tsp of vanilla essence

mango delight vitamix smoothie dessert

Blend (I used the almighty Vitamix!) all the above ingredients until you reach a smooth ice-creamy consistency and enjoy. Give this recipe a try, you’ll be so glad you did. It’s healthy, raw, vegan and most importantly DELICIOUS! 🙂

mango delight vitamix smoothie dessert

~Blend & Delight in it!~

PS: I had it for breakfast the first time I made it. Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast? 🙂

Updates on Week 1 of my “New Year, New Me 6 week plan”

Happy New Year everyone! Week 1 was an absolute success! Yay! A part of me was terrified that it would be painful and tortuous, which parts of it were, but overall it went really well. I don’t know why or how, but I have experienced a mental shift of some kind just like I did back in 2005 when I read Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis. I just know that I want to experience newer heights in my health and this 6 week plan so far has been the best way to begin this journey. Thanks to Dr. Fuhrman and his awesome book Eat to Live! I LOVE books. They say madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results, right? It’s safe to say, I’m not crazy anymore! Some would say that I’m only crazier now but what do they know? hummph!

Let me begin by saying that truly the only challenging thing about week 1 was coming up with new and interesting ways to make vegetable dishes and not including meat anywhere. There is an abundance of wonderful blogs with great recipes so I hope to remedy that by spending some time finding a handful of recipes to try each week. My main menu on a day-to-day basis this week was as follows:

  • Breakfast: Green or Fruit Smoothie / Fruit Salad / Veggie Juice *this did not change for me, this has been my standard breakfast for a long time now.
  • Lunch: LARGE green salad. I learned very quickly I need to make my salads larger than usual to fill me up and to change my mix-ins and dressings daily so I don’t get bored. 
  • Snack: Nuts and/or Fruits *this did not change either
  • Dinner: Veggie stews with sweet potato/brown rice, Bean stews, Spicy veggie medley soup

Please note that it would vary from day-to-day in that I would sometimes have the stews and soups for lunch and the large green salads for dinner. Some of the benefits I have experienced this week are that I am much more conscious about every thing I eat and feel lighter. Transit time for my meals is much faster! The best benefit I have experienced at this point is the feeling on a sub-conscious level that I am doing right by my body. I am so glad I don’t have my scale in the house right now because only God knows that if I weighed the same I would be missing out on the wonderful feeling I have that this is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I know I mentioned my hubby was joining me on my plan but he is definitely just a cheerleader at this point! Lol! I am very ok with that though. He makes a great cheerleader. I really would have loved for him not to ‘cheer lead’ yesterday while devouring his take-out BBQ chicken in my face.

Here is a blog I found that I just love, AlmostRawVegan. Can’t wait to dig into it some more. I really love and appreciate the community of WordPress blogs. I have learned and discovered so much through them. It’s been a little while since I put up some juice recipes so you can be sure there’s a ton coming. Stay tuned!

Please share any great blogs/websites you love that focus on healthy eating below. Sharing is caring 🙂